Happy Pi day everyone!  It’s not too late to enjoy some pie to celebrate.

Isn’t he cute?

We had the 20-week anatomy scan yesterday afternoon, after which Amber posted this picture on Facebook:

me and baby

Her comment for the picture was “My BOYs :)” which caused slight confusion among a  few friends who thought that it meant we were having twins.  Nope, Amber just has the two of us, me and Baby X, who’s name is still to be determined.  Given our IVF protocol, it would’ve taken a minor miracle for us to be having twins.  But even if that minor miracle happened, unless Baby X’s twin is the best hide-and -seek player ever – and we are talking Olympic hide and seek caliber here – the scans we’ve had make it pretty well definitive that there is no twin.

It really is amazing what technology can do now, although I wonder if it doesn’t bring a little extra fear into our lives sometimes.  As this scan approached, I was pretty optimistic that everything would be fine, but during the scan I did have some moments of fear that the technician would find something.  I found myself occasionally watching her face for tells, which my poker friends will probably tell you is a waste of time for me to do.  I also left with a little neck strain.  I’m not sure if that was because of stress or the position of the monitor on the wall.

In any case, things are still looking really good and we are over the halfway point on the path to our little one’s arrival.  It was a happy day.

In case you are curious, it is also definitive that we are having a boy.  We had a test done earlier (for reasons other than determining gender) that definitively revealed that, but we also got clear photographic evidence yesterday.  For the record, I won’t be posting that particular picture.


Amber and I went to Babies R Us Friday night to do some browsing.  I’m pretty ignorant of the stuff that we are going to need to get for our new little one, but I’m ramping up.  This is still a mystery, though the marketing caught my eye:

Not sure what this is...

Guess I’ve got some more research to do…

Bending our house to our will

Today Amber and I tackled another home improvement task, installing a cable TV outlet on an interior wall in our bedroom.  This is step one in a long series of tasks which ends with Amber’s studio becoming our nursery in July.

Quick aside: when does a nursery become a bedroom?

Today’s task involved the purchase of $35 worth of tools and materials from Monoprice (including a compression crimping tool and a cable stripper) and $179 of the same from Home Depot, almost one-third of which was a flexible drill bit.  So when all is said and done, the outlet cost a little over $200, but several of the tools will be useful in a future wired network installation project as well as moving the cable outlet in our living room for a wall mount TV, so I don’t feel too bad about the cost.

Flexible drill bits are pretty cool, by the way.  Check out this example video if you are curious what it is.  I think it is much easier if you can see into the wall as in this video.  For us, not so much.

Based on some reconnaissance under the house last weekend, I estimated that the project would take about one hour.  The total duration ended up being more like four hours, of course.  The major delay was drilling down through the wall into the crawl space.  The problem was that the edge of the hole ended up over a floor joist and my drill wasn’t powerful enough to make it through.  To complicate matters, I couldn’t find where we were breaking through (if we were) because of insulation under the floor.  I thought the bit would deform or push the insulation out of the way, but the joist was binding up the bit so it wouldn’t push it through.

Anyway, long story short, after pulling down a bunch of insulation, most of which I still have to put back up, I found the hole we kind of drilled and we managed to get the cable fed through.  And then it was just a matter of pulling it up to the front of the house, stapling as I went, and splicing it into the existing cable.

So now we have a cable TV outlet where we need it.

Stupid Knee

Just after Christmas, Amber and I went to Arizona for a few days to get away from it all.  Unfortunately, we didn’t really manage to get away from everything.  While we were there, the flu got us both.  Amber, who had already gotten a flu shot (and has much better immunity in general than I, it seems) was sick for about a day.  I seemed to get the worse of it, and found myself sick in the middle of the night and unable to take more than three steps without passing out.

On one of my attempts to make it between the bed to the bathroom without losing consciousness, perhaps the first one, I fell and messed up my knee somehow (I really don’t remember the details), which added to my difficulties.  For the first day or so after, I couldn’t really put any weight on it.  But fortunately, it got better and I was able to limp home to Seattle without crutches.  Since then, though, it seems like it’s not really changed.  If I sit for too long at a time, I limp around for a bit when I get up.  I can’t really kneel on it without pain – I’m not a very penitent guy anyway, so that doesn’t bother me too much.

Anyway, I’m tired of waiting to see if it’s going to get better, so this morning I’m off to the doctor to start what I am sure will be the following sequence of events:

  1. Visit the doctor, who will say that they can’t really do anything and send me to an orthopedist
  2. The orthopedist will tell me that they can’t tell what’s wrong without an MRI and send me to get one
  3. Go and get the MRI
  4. Go back to the orthopedist who will look at the MRI and tell me that I’ve strained or pulled (hopefully not torn!) X in my knee and send me to physical therapy
  5. Go for multiple visits of PT, enjoying none of them
  6. Hopefully get back to the nominal level of crappy knee dysfunction that I previously enjoyed

I’m off to start using that shiny new deductible I now have.  (Don’t get me started on my insurance changes.)

This probably comes off like a whiney rant, and maybe it is.  I have a lot of people in my life that have way worse medical issues and not nearly enough insurance to deal with them, so don’t get me wrong; I am very grateful that I can do this and hopefully get better.

End of rant for the day.

But I’ve seen this movie

NASA confirms that near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass very close to Earth (17,200 miles), and they guarantee that there is “no chance that the asteroid might be on a collision course with Earth.”

For those of us that saw Armageddon, we know that this is exactly what they would say.  I hope Bruce Willis is suiting up.

Jet lag (and baby lag?)

I went to London on business recently.  I was there for a week, and I’ve been back home about the same amount of time.  It was really hard being away from home while Amber is pregnant, but we both managed to survive without one another for a week.  It was snowing most of the time I was there, and I managed to get some pictures of a snowy Trafalgar Square:

I’m trying out a Live Writer/Sky Drive photo album integration here.  Please let me know what you think.

Anyway, I’ve been suffering the requisite jet lag since I got back.  For most of the week I’ve been going to sleep really early and waking up really early.  Although it’s been gradually getting better, I think I’ve shifted from jet lag into baby lag.

Obviously, our little one isn’t here yet, so it’s not like I’ve been waken by crying or anything like that.  It’s just that there is a lot that we need or want to do between now and July and when I happen to wake up at four a.m., my mind starts to get going on that stuff and I can’t get back to sleep.  Of course there are other big things going on right now that get thrown into that mix, so maybe it’s not fair to call it baby lag, but that’s the big one and it’s all kind of intertwined anyway.

Perhaps surprisingly, I’m not laying awake worrying about what kind of father I’ll be.  I definitely have those thoughts from time to time, but it’s all the preparation stuff that is getting me right now.  It’s been getting better, so maybe it’s all just a phase.

Monsters University Site

If you haven’t already seen it, check out the Monsters University site to promote the prequel to Monsters Inc.  Sadly, it’s a much nicer website than most of the real university sites I’ve seen, including my alma mater.

There is even a password protected faculty and student portal.  I haven’t seriously tried to get in, but I do wonder if there is a real site behind that too and if there is somewhere to get a username / password.

Welcome to 2013

Since you are reading this, we obviously survived the Mayan apocalypse, and here we are in 2013.  Hopefully everyone is having a good year so far.

I’ve obviously not done a good job keeping up with my fruit/baby pictures, so I just posted a couple to catch up.  I’m going to try to be more on the ball with those moving forward.  Things are still going really well, so hopefully my neglect didn’t cause any worry.

I was surprised but the Kickstarter project I’d pledged to met its goal and was funded.  Actually it blew past the goal by $330,000!  So now I have a new version of the game Elite to look forward to sometime in 2014.

We saw Les Miserables.  Good movie.  Spoiler alert: every time you turned around, someone was even more miserable.  Very miserable people.

I’ve been catching up on my photo organization for 2011 and 2012.  I’m almost done uploading all of my photos to my flickr account.  I really need to do a better job keeping up with that this year.

Today, we went curling at the Granite Curling Club.  I’ve been wanting to try it out for a long time and I figure it is probably my last chance at Olympic glory.  I’m not sure if I really have a shot at the Olympics, but it was a lot of fun.  Here I am learning how to sweep.


Being a California girl, Amber was a natural, of course.  (She really did good and won our first game end for us.)  Here’s Amber learning how to throw the stone:

Amber learning how to throw

Her winning stone:

Amber's winning stone

It’s definitely something I’m hoping to do again with more friends.  Their next open house is February 9, so let me know if you are interested.

Weeks 10 and 11

Okay, I’m a little behind on this but here are pictures for weeks 10 and 11.